Vassalo an Option for the Wolfpack?

Now that Anthony Morrow chose Georgia Tech and the Wolfpack decided that Marcel Jones wasn't what the doctor ordered, Herb Sendek and the staff have put most of their eggs in the Andrew Brackman basket. <P>

The Cincinnati Moeller (Ohio) two-sport star returned from a visit to Georgia Tech (the only other contender in the race) and will take a trip to N.C. State the first weekend of November.

However, the Wolfpack are still exploring other options in case Brackman opts to end his basketball career and focus solely at baseball at Georgia Tech.

One of those options is a relative unknown: Angel "A.D." Vassalo.

His version of summer basketball was a little different than most other high-schoolers and that's why college coaches are just starting to get serious about Vassalo.

The 6-5 ½, 200-pound senior was playing on the Puerto Rican Junior National Team in Greece this past summer, so he didn't get the exposure on the AAU circuit.

However, Vassalo's recruitment is picking up steam of late as Richmond has offered – and both South Carolina head man Dave Odom and Virginia's Pete Gillen came down to get a first-hand look at him. Wolfpack assistant Mark Phelps was also in to catch a glimpse.

Vassalo, 17, also mentioned Providence, Virginia Tech and N.C. State as the other three schools that make up his top half-dozen. He's already taken an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech and Virginia.

He took the SAT for the first time this past weekend and once he gets his score back, he will begin setting up official visits.

It's not as if Vassalo, who played with the Lynchburg Hoops after his sophomore season, suddenly came out of nowhere. He averaged 19.8 points and 10 rebounds per game last season at Faith Christian (Hurt, Va.).

"He's a dead-eye shooter," Faith Christian coach Rich Lambert said. "He can shoot it from deep and also off the dribble and off screens."

Another reason that explains Vassalo's lack of attention from high-major D-1 schools is that he didn't always get the chance to showcase his perimeter game.

"People have finally gotten to see the real A.D. play," Vassalo said. "Before I played center in high school. Now they see the way I can handle the ball, pass it and shoot it. Before I was posting up the whole time."

While Vassalo's offensive arsenal is a major weapon, he still needs to work on his defense – specifically being able to guard quicker wings.

Angel "A.D." Vassalo (on left) in Greece at Junior World Championships versus Team USA.

Picture courtesy of

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